Friday, August 19, 2011

cowboy caviar.

We have a bunch of sweet corn and tomatoes from our garden to use up. What better way to enjoy them than in a bean salsa. There are lots of variations out there for cowboy caviar, but here's the [delicious] concoction we use:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black-eyed peas
1 large tomato, diced
1 large jalapeno, chopped
2 cups fresh corn (you can also use frozen corn and thaw it)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup Italian dressing
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 bundle of fresh cilantro, chopped
coarse-ground pepper and salt to taste


Friday, July 29, 2011

bathroom reveal.

Without further ado...

Bathroom before (post-gutting, re-plumbing, and installing a new toilet):

And after:

I absolutely love the way the sink/vanity turned out. I knew I wanted a warm, rustic look for the cabinet, in a natural finish, since the rest of the room is done in various white/cream textures (i.e. the large tile flooring, the board and batten walls, the mini metro tile around the tub/shower). It was built out of hickory, by my awesome husband and father-in-law, with turned legs underneath to give it less of a built-in and more of a stand-alone look.

We found the sink at IKEA. Yes, you read that right. IKEA saves the day again! The sink was a huge decision. We priced/looked at/debated over apron sinks and pedestal sinks (which leave you with no counter space to set things on), vessel sinks (which we already have in the downstairs bathroom), granite slabs with undermount sinks (which are very costly), and nothing was fitting with the room quite the way I wanted it to design-wise. So on a whim we decided to go to IKEA and see what they had. Bingo. Isn't she a beauty?

And from another angle, just because I like to look at her...

Okay, one more...

As you might remember from this previous post, the sconce lighting was another tough decision. I'm really happy with the one we ended up choosing. Classy, yet primitive.

On the opposite wall we added a linen closet, stealing a bit of space from the master walk-in closet. I'm so glad we decided to do that. Extra storage = extra happiness for an organizer like myself. :)

And who could forget the tiny 1x2" tiles that Manly begrudgingly lovingly installed around the tub/shower...

So there you have it! And only a couple months late. Next up on the remodel list: my office. Once we've replenished the energy and monetary supplies, that is.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

fainting couch.

The upstairs bathroom is finished! Well, except for a few little towel hooks and other odds and ends. Tomorrow I'll take some photos and post them for you. But until then, here is another fun before-and-after going on around here...



Winn's dad gave us this fainting couch a few months ago. We had it restuffed and reupholstered by Barb at Fabrications in Fabric. She does nice work (and she's quick too!). I'm not entirely pleased with the end result in that the shape of it is a little different now. I wish the back part where you rest your head was a bit more pronounced as it is in the before photo. But I really like the sleek look of it, as well as the new houndstooth fabric.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

hello again.

On this 92-but-feels-like-104-degree morning, while the still-not-walking almost-15-month-old is napping, I'm savoring a long-awaited morning at home and indulging in air-conditioning and an iced French vanilla latte (thanks to Maxwell House)...

...and sorting through my photos, contemplating where to even begin blogging after being MIA for a couple of months. So I decided to start small, lest I get overwhelmed.

I promise you that our upstairs bath is almost finished. It has, in fact, been "almost finished" for several months now, but when summer arrived, we turned our attention to the outdoors and such projects as building a new chicken coop, gardening, cleaning the garage, hanging a baby swing, chopping wood, and the like. But hopefully by the end of the week, Manly will have finished the doors for the vanity and the linen closet, and I will give you a complete virtual tour of the new facilities. :)

In the meantime, I'll let you in on a little secret. Remember this post about my lighting selection dilemma? Well, here's a peek at the sconce I ended up choosing...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

at 12 months you...

* Weigh 24 pounds.
* Measure 30 inches tall.
* Walk along the furniture.
* Like to empty all the kitchen cabinets within your reach.
* Bounce up and down when music starts playing.
* Love to crawl through the grass outside and go for walks in your stroller.
* Will be a big brother in about seven months.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

roasted salsa verde.

It's the closest thing to Chipotle's green salsa that we've found. You can buy it at Walmart. Please do. So that they never quit selling it. I'm not sure how I could go on living without it. :) Just the right amount of heat on your tongue and oh-so-yummy!

Especially when paired with Mission tortilla chips...

WARNING: EXTREMELY ADDICTING (as evidenced by the contents of our recyclable glass receptacle)...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

at 11 months you...

* Crawl all over the place and get into everything.
* Like to put the phone up to your ear and "talk."
* Pull yourself up along the furniture.
* Insist on feeding yourself at the dinner table.
* Love being outside with Sajak, Phinneas, and the chickens.
* Continue to flash your bright ear-to-ear smile at anyone who looks your way.
* Are growing up much too quickly for this mama.

Friday, April 1, 2011

a little april fools' day fun.

This is the photo I emailed to Winn at work this morning.

He totally took the bait.

* It's the same pic I sent him in the fall of '09 when we found out Shepherd was on the way. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

bathroom progress.

Yep, those are 1x2" tiles.
Yep, it took poor Winn (along with some help from his dad) a looooooong time to install them.
Yep, I feel kinda bad about that.

But it's lookin' real perdy so far, wouldn't you agree?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


While the baked ziti was in the oven this evening and the squash and zucchini and onion were sauteing on the stove, I snacked on some smoked Gouda and a glass of cabernet and watched Manly and his son through the window as they went outside to feed the chickens and collect the eggs. Over dinner we planned our catalog order of seeds for this year's garden, and we laughed when Shepherd put a fistful of pasta in his mouth and made a horrified face at the unexpected taste of spinach mixed in. And I sat there enjoying our sweet and simple life, marveling at a God who delights in blessing his children.

Monday, March 28, 2011

i'm in love.

With this home...

And these knitting needles...

I wasted no time in ordering a handcrafted set for myself from Stitch Diva, and I can't wait for the UPS man to arrive!

* Thanks to my friend Kelly for another great link!

Monday, March 7, 2011

at 10 months you...

* Are very close to being able to crawl.
* Cause your parents a lot of anxiety with the things you manage to find and put in your mouth (including popcorn kernels, the squeaker from inside a toy, an earring, and box elder bugs).
* Like to look at books.
* Have become a bit clingy at church or other crowded places.
* Make an engine sound with your lips while pushing your bulldozer around the floor.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

fantastic enchiladas.

And I do mean fantastic. And easy.

1/2 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 1/2 c salsa
1/2 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (I used fresh spinach because I had it on-hand)
2 t cumin
1/2 t salt
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
5 to 6 flour tortillas (we love to make our own using this tortilla mix)
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Heat in saucepan cooked ground beef, 1 cup salsa, spinach, cumin, salt, and cream cheese until melted/heated. Spoon 1/3 cup of filling down the center of each tortilla; roll up and place seam-down in lightly greased 8x8" baking dish. Spoon remainder of salsa over enchiladas. Bake uncovered @ 350' for 25 minutes or until hot. Add cheese on top and return to oven until melted. Serve with tortilla chips. (Makes approximately 4 servings.)

And just because I don't like to do a post without a photo, here are a couple of our other recent Emealz. Marinated pork fillets and spinach salad:

Baked tilapia topped with mango salsa and served with sweet potatoes:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

not-so-fairweather friend: a knitted neckwrap.

This hybrid scarf is designed to button around the neck on blustery days. There are no tails to tuck in your coat or leave flying around in the wind. It's a quick and easy pattern, so make one in every color for a little winter accessorizing! :)

Pattern: Not-So-Fairweather Friend
By: Betsy Cradic
Supplies needed: Size 15 knitting needles, one skein of Lion's Thick and Chunky yarn (shown in Grey Marble), and three 1 1/8" buttons

Cast on 25 stitches.
Row 1: Purl.
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: Purl.
Row 4: P2, K3, P3, K3, P3, K3, P3, K3, P2.
Row 5: K2, P3, K3, P3, K3, P3, K3, P3, K2.
Repeat Rows 4 & 5 until neckwrap reaches desired length (approximately 2 feet), ending with a Row 4.
Next row: Purl.
Next row (buttonhole row): K2, K2T (knit 2 together), YO (yarn-over), K7, K2T, YO, K7, K2T, YO, K3.
Next row: Purl.
Next row: Knit.
Bind off.
Attach buttons and weave in loose ends.

{I hope you enjoy my free tutorials! They are for personal use only, please.}